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Hearing management

Updated 15 August 2018

What is hearing loss?

People who cannot hear are usually described as being “hearing impaired”. This term includes different types of hearing loss, regardless of the nature, cause and extent.

People who cannot hear are usually described as being “hearing impaired”. This term includes different types of hearing loss, regardless of the nature, cause and extent.

Let’s take a closer look at the different terms and descriptions:

Deafness: a word describing a person who cannot use his hearing.

Hard of hearing: a person whose hearing is not within normal limits, but who can use the residue of his hearing (especially aided by hearing aids) to hear speech.

Deaf and dumb: a term used in the past. Nowadays it is inappropriate because all people with a hearing loss can be taught to communicate.

It is preferable to use the term "hearing impaired" when referring to a person with a hearing loss.

Hearing loss should be graded according to a person’s degree of hearing loss, for example:

  • mild hearing loss (loss of 15-40dB)
  • moderate hearing loss (41-65dB)
  • severe hearing loss (66-89dB)
  • profound hearing loss (90-110dB)
  • total hearing loss.

A person's hearing loss is graphed on an audiogram that shows both frequency and decibel ranges.

Read more:
Symptoms of hearing loss

 

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Ask the Expert

Hearing Expert

Minette Lister graduated with a Bachelor of Communication Pathology (Audiology) from the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Westville in 2015. Thereafter, she completed her compulsory year of community service at Phoenix Assessment and Therapy Centre in Durban. In 2017, Minette started working for Thompson and Hoffman Audiology Inc. She is passionate about working with children and adults to diagnose and manage hearing loss using state of the art technology. Minette offers hearing screening programmes for newborn and high-risk babies, as well as school-aged children, in order to decrease the incidence of late or unidentified hearing loss.

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